The number of states with laws allowing recreational marijuana continues to grow. This pressures other states and their policymakers to consider the same efforts. Enforcement and legal arguments may have a harder time standing up to scrutiny when neighbors allow for the regulated growth and distribution of the drug.
According to the Iowan Starting Line, Iowan Democrats attempted to introduce an amendment to a heroin bill on March 22, 2022. This amendment would help legalize recreational marijuana.
Knowing the numbers and policy
Democrats pushed for the amendment, citing that 54% of adults polled said they support recreational marijuana. Another 78% wanted an expansion of Iowa’s medical marijuana program.
The senator proposing it also pointed to the disproportionate enforcement against Black Iowans as well as the overall effect that serious drug charges have on a person’s future.
Along with statutes that would regulate the growth and distribution of marijuana in Iowa, it would leave the decision to the voters.
The Senate eventually rejected the amendment on the grounds that it had no relation to a bill concerning heroin penalties.
Knowing current marijuana penalties
While lawmakers continue this discussion, marijuana still remains illegal for recreational use. First-time possession offenders may face misdemeanor charges with penalties of as much as $1,000 in fines or up to six months of imprisonment. Cultivation or distribution may see felony charges with worse penalties.
Anyone facing these drug charges risks serious damage to their future. They may affect job or college prospects for life. It is important to understand the penalties for marijuana charges and to lean on all available resources when disputing them.